Cong mounts attack on Centre over LACUpdated: Jun 26, 2020, 23:57 IST
New Delhi: The Congress Party on Friday launched an online campaign, #SpeakUpForOurJawans, demanding transparency from the Central government over the alleged Chinese incursion into Indian Territory.
The campaign, a part of the national party’s strategy to go digital, garnered over 20 million views on various social media platforms, party officials said.
Congress party president Sonia Gandhi in a five-minute video paid homage to the soldiers who were “martyred by the Chinese in Galwan”.
“With tensions on the India-China border, it is imperative that the central government does not shirk its responsibility,” Gandhi said. “The prime minister says there has been no incursion into Indian territory, but at the same time the defence minister and the minister for external affairs are saying other things. If China didn’t enter Indian territory then how were 20 of our soldiers killed.”
The party’s former president Rahul Gandhi, who too put out a two-minute long video on his Twitter handle, echoed Gandhi’s sentiments. “The PM said that not an inch of land has been taken by anyone,”he said. “But we are hearing from former generals, seeing satellite images from Ladakh, that contradict these claims. They say China has taken our land in not one, but three different places.”
Rahul Gandhi further urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “tell the truth”. “Don’t be scared. If you say China has not entered our territory, then it helps them. If you tell the truth, the entire country will stand behind you to fight them back.”
Other senior party leaders such as Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra, Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad, P. Chidambaram, along with all Congress Working Committee members, party state chiefs and legislative party leaders also put out videos. Sources in the party say that this is part of its push to go digital, as the party gears up to launch a large-scale membership campaign in Bihar ahead of the polls in the state later this year.
Former MoS of defence Pallam Raju and Jitendra Singh, along with party spokesperson Pawan Khera, also held a press conference to highlight how the government’s stand on China was “demoralising soldiers”.
“The Chinese have occupied several new positions, this is a real threat,” Raju said. “India’s policies towards its neighbours has been an all-round diplomatic failure in the last few years.”
Singh added: “PM Modi met Chinese officials over 18 times, what have we got to show for it,” said Singh.
Khera said that the government needed to “come clean and not create diversions by raising other issues”.
The BJP has been consistently attacking the Congress for allowing even more incursions during their regime, as well charging the party for using public money to fund the Rajiv Gandhi foundation.
Centre for Studies of Developing Societies director Sanjay Kumar, however, said that the Congress cannot match the BJP’s social media machinery despite having the technical know-how.
“It will be very difficult for Congress to match BJP’s social media machinery. There are two reasons for this; one there is a massive trust deficit between the Congress and the people. And two, the ability of BJP to swing the narrative their way and corner the Congress into answering uncomfortable questions makes it tough for the party.”